Reading skills can definitely make a difference in an exam. Let's do a little test. Pretend that you're under pressure and in a rush. Quickly read the following statement and write down how many F's it contains. That's right . . . the number of F's. Do it quickly. Ready, here goes:

The fine art of filing is fast disappearing because of new found software offering lots of electronic gadgets based on years of research, a great deal of effort and the focused attention of many experts.

If you got 10, 11 or 12, your brain was snoozing for 25% to 30% of the time. If 13 or 14, it was just taking a micro nap. Now, slow it down and count again. The right answer: 16. One of your problems is that you probably missed some or all the of's. That's because they sounded like ov's and our brain didn't count them. Don't let your brain miss important words on your exam. Be methodical.